The most crucial factor in achieving success for our students is consistency of approach. As such, we follow a Waking Day curriculum throughout the school with skills being taught through the entire waking day in all settings. This supports the recognised need for generalisation and overlearning in people with autism. Read more about our Waking Day approach to learning.

Lower School Curriculum

Our curriculum is closely linked to the National Curriculum but adapted to support the complex needs and level of understanding of each young person. Staff support students throughout their waking day activities allowing teaching staff to maximise learning opportunities and provide a stimulating and safe environment for all young people.

All of our students are working below age related expectations. Young people follow an individualised curriculum that is adapted to ensure it is both functional and meaningful. In the lower school this is delivered through a series of project themes, as outlined below:

Cycle Term Theme Curriculum Focus
1 1 and 2 Who am I? Science
1 3 and 4 Where am I? Geography
1 5 and 6 What am I? Science
2 1 and 2 Celebrations Science
2 3 and 4 Marvelous me! Science/History
2 5 and 6 I can! Vocational

All young people focus on the areas of learning outlined below. Progress made across these areas supports our young people to be able to live a life which is fulfilled, healthy, where they have a job and are as independent as possible. Read more about the progress our young people make.

  • Healthiness
  • Communication
  • Positive Behaviour support
  • Daily Living Skills
  • Functional academics (Lower School)
  • Vocational skills (Upper School)
  • Keeping me safe

An example programme descriptor for the functional academics area can be seen here.

Upper School Curriculum

Young person from Priors Court on work experience placement

The upper school provides young people with the opportunity to learn key skills and develop independence that will support them in their future adult life. The young people are supported to identify their own skills and interests and where possible to make choices about what they want to learn. Key staff and parents also advocate for the areas they feel are most appropriate for future work experiences and placements.

Young people in the upper school focus on the ‘World of Work’ and the skills required to access this. There is a huge emphasis on promoting independence, focusing on developing life and vocational skills. Emphasis is placed on learning through experience with the curriculum being individually tailored and differentiated to reflect and meet the varied skills and needs of the students.

For post 16 students, we aim to offer a range of person-centred learning opportunities through a career path of various ‘streams of learning’. Through assessment of skills, individual choices and professional decisions, each young person starts to focus on developing identified areas of interest and skills. Our goal is for our young people to be able to access work after gaining the skills needed through on the job learning and training.

We have identified seven key learning areas or streams where young people can focus on developing their skills;

  1. Transitional/preparation for work
  2. Catering and hospitality
  3. Admin and finance
  4. Business and enterprise
  5. Land based
  6. Trade skills
  7. House keeping

An example programme descriptor for catering and hospitality can be seen here.

By offering our young people the opportunity to participate in appropriate identified work experience and placements we support them to gain valuable skills in understanding expectations from the wider community and prepare them for future options and independent living. We also promote the skills required to work alongside others, gaining experience, developing skills and understanding and providing encouragement to develop their own individual performance and build self-esteem.

The way we ensure learning leads to work is shown below:

How we ensure learning leads to work diagram

Curriculum policies:
Waking Day Curriculum policy Teaching of reading policy Assessment, recording and reporting policy